Child's Play (1988)

DVD Cover (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 20th Birthday Edition)
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Overall Rating 66%
Overall Rating
Ranked #1,537
...out of 20,571 movies
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Connections: Child's Play

When serial killer Charles Lee Ray is mortally wounded in a police shoot-out, he uses a voodoo spell to transfer his soul into Chucky, a "Good Guys" doll. Andy receives the doll as a birthday gift, and Chucky soon resumes his killing spree. However, Charles doesn't want to be trapped in the body of a doll forever. His only escape would be to transfer into the first human he revealed his true identity to... which places Andy in mortal danger. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: November 21, 2004
The movie starts out with detective Mike Norris (Chris Sarandon) chasing down Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif), a well-known serial killer. Charles receives a gunshot to the leg, but manages to hobble his way into a nearby toy-store with Norris right behind him. The cop manages to put another round into our beloved serial killer, and this one proves to be the fatal shot. Before he dies, however, Charles casts some sort of spell over a Good Guy doll, which transfers his soul over to the doll. Following the spell-casting, a bolt of lighting hits the store and causes an explosion. Cut scene over to a young kid by the name of Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent), who just so happens to be nearly obsessed with this Good Guy trend that's sweeping the nation. It also just so happens that Andy's birthday is today, but unfortunately for him, his mother Karen (Catherine Hicks) couldn't afford to buy him the Good Guy doll he wanted. Things take a turn for the better when Maggie Peterson (Dinah Manoff), a co-worker and friend of Karen, breaks the news that a bum is peddling junk outside the store, and just so happens to have a Good Guy doll. Karen gets the deal of a lifetime when she throws down thirty bucks for the doll, and multiple tears are shed as Andy finally receives the toy he's been wanting so badly. Of course, it wouldn't be a movie if that particular doll wasn't the one that Charles Lee Ray put his soul into and then terrorized the city in his new-found doll form, now would it?

With four sequels under its belt thus far, the starting point of the series can't be all that bad, now could it? It certainly isn't a classic, but it's not all that bad either. Everything is in place for your typical monster-slasher film, with the first few scenes setting things up, a number of deaths, a few kooky plot-twists, and then the grand finale where the monster (or doll, in this case) dies. If you take away the doll gimmick, you're left with something that has been done countless times prior to the release of this, but at least this one did bring something new to the table. However, that saving grace is the same thing that brings down the believability of the movie so much. I can buy the whole thing about a serial killer transferring his soul over to a doll... I mean, I've seen much weirder in my day, so this wasn't that bad. After we have the possessed Good Guy doll though, is when things just started to get too off the wall for my liking. First off, how hard could it be to fend off a three foot doll? One swift kick would send it flying, or placing it in a laundry hamper would keep him in check. All logic and originality issues aside, this one did a good job for the genre. The storyline builds up quickly enough, most of the death scenes are decent, and the effects used on the doll were great for the time that the movie was released.

The acting found here did manage to pull the quality down a bit, however. Chris Sarandon (Detective Mike) plays your typical cookie-cutter cop, coming off as the exact same character that has been seen in countless movies throughout the history of modern cinema. He didn't take up near as much screen time as one would imagine, so things managed to work out in that respect. Alex Vincent (Kiddie Andy) is the star of the show on the human side, and as I've said numerous times, kids should not have roles of any significance in horror films. He was extremely annoying, and wound up ruining every scene he was placed in. For shame, indeed. Catherine Hicks (Mother Karen) did the best here, pulling out a tolerable performance (though she did suffer from a heavy dose of over-acting in some scenes). Really though, bad acting is a staple in these eighties horror films, so you should know what to expect with that.

Decent enough, though I do fail to see how this movie managed to spew out another four films to make up the series. Your mileage may vary, though. 5/10.
Ginose #1: Ginose - added February 26, 2006 at 3:36am
Wow... Ireally don't even feel like graceing this page with my presense, but it must be known. this entire series sucked. there is nothing scary about chucky. his kills are stupid, un-contrived and very boring. And he is 2' 7" tall... I could kick the shit outta that thing! What is the fuckin' appeal to these movies, huh? they bore the shit outta me... I share one thing in common with this movie... I'd rather not share it on the grounds that I dislike disclosing persolnal info on the web... all these movies sucked...
Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg #2: Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg - added April 19, 2007 at 9:02am
Well, I'll freely admit it: I'm a fan of Chucky and this movie (...sort of). Call me a pus, but I thought it did an alright job of producing some scary bits. On the argument that he could easily have just been punted to death- well, that sort of one-on-one confrontation is handled fairly well as to not giving anyone the chance to really do so. Okay, whatever, I'm not going to go on and try to defend this as too serious of a horror movie.
Anyway, as I do the The Leprechaun, I like this movie for the personality of the corny villain.
Nirrad #3: Nirrad - added September 27, 2007 at 9:23pm
I remember renting this when I was a kid, and my mother turned if off at the beginning when Chucky picks up a hammer. I recently watched this a month ago, and it didn't seem as goof as I remembered. Some of the kills were lame, and I thought there were a lot of boring parts. Although I did enjoy the last 12 minutes or so a lot. I give this 6/10.
Shakes #4: Shakes - added January 22, 2009 at 1:04pm
this movie scared the shit out of me as a kid. Still haven't been the same when dolls are in my presence. the sequels are fucking great as well. very original storyline. 7.5/10
Tristan #5: Tristan - added May 12, 2009 at 5:15pm
Not scary, but a fun movie. Totally lost my virginity during it too. OH!

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